Can We Grill It? Yes, We Can! Al Fresco Adaptations for Every Recipe

Sizzling summer is in full effect! When the sidewalk is hot enough to fry an egg, the last place we want to be is slaving over a hot stove in a stuffy kitchen. But, since we’ve all gotta eat, we put our heads together and worked out the best ways to take our culinary skills outside. We’re all about lounging in the shade while we let the grill do all the work!

And we’re not talking basic burgers and brats, here. You can adapt almost any recipe to the grill, from pizza to poaching, from blanching to baking! Here are a few quick tips to get any recipe grill-ready.

Sautéing is Simple

Any recipe that can be cooked on the stovetop can be moved to the grill—it’s just a horse of a different burner! Bring your well-seasoned cast iron pan to the party and you’re good to go. If you are using a gas grill, controlling the heat is the same as using the stove: adjust the flames as needed and be ready to move your pan to a cool spot on the grill if it is heating up too quickly. Using a charcoal grill can be a tiny bit trickier, but you can control your cooking zones by stacking your charcoal strategically and using indirect heat. To master this method, check out this post from grilling guru Steve Raichlen!

Baking Basics

Once you understand indirect grilling, you can use it to turn your grill into an oven. This technique does require a couple of tools: you’ll need a grill thermometer to monitor the temperature and some aluminum foil (or a grill mat) between the grill grates and your baking sheet or pan. To get started, preheat the grill to 25 degrees above your cook temp—grills lose heat quickly when you open the lid, so you need a bit more heat to offset the loss. Once you’re up to temp, just close the lid and try not to open it too frequently during the cook. 

It’s Getting Steamy

You can steam just about anything by wrapping it in foil. Place your ingredients in the center of a sheet and seal it up by folding in half and crimping the edges closed—it’s just like making a big, aluminum calzone! To allow steam to escape, either keep your crimps loose or poke a couple of small holes in the top to vent. Veggies and seafood should be done in about 10 minutes; for beef, pork, or chicken, be sure to take a temp to make sure it is cooked thoroughly and safe to eat.